Funding Woes Beleaguers Transportation Group
The Transportation Construction Coalition last week held its yearly “fly-in” in Washington beleaguered by nagging fears that its funding well is nearly dry.
The group is co-chaired by the Associated General Contractors of America and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. The coalition consists of 29 associations and labor unions.
The event was also attended by Federal highway Administrator Victor Mendez; the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. John Mica (F-Fla); and a ranking member of the committee, Rep. Nick Rahall II, a Democrat from West Virginia.
According to Brian Deery, a senior director at AGC, Rep. Mica has promised to submit this summer a new six-year transportation bill.
The bill, however, is likely to considerably cut funding for the highway program, a notion that has caused attendees of the meeting to worry greatly about the post-stimulus recovery of the industry.
Deery said, “For the construction industry — and particularly the transportation part of the construction industry — [stimulus] money was a godsend, but that money has all been spent now.”
He also said that members of the industry expects the high level of unemployment to continue with the shortage of opportunities, as spending on transportation construction at state and federal level continue to plunge.
Nevertheless, he also said that the attendees continue to be hopeful that a bill providing more definite funding for states will be filed.